The field of astrology is huge with so many possibilities. In order to study it in a manageable proportion, we must look at it segment by segment. Once we have two astrological segments under reasonable control we can then merge them to develop a comprehensible narrative. Once we have studied an additional segment, we use the same merging process to enlarge our information while keeping it cohesive. We study segment by segment, adding to our previously storage until we have a whole, usable body of information from which we can draw at any time. This reminds me of the way we learn anything, step-by-step, adding as we go.

In order to individualize that body of the sixth house in astrology information, we start with the natal wheel for any birth. We then draw from that information pool at will, weaving together the various segments that are appropriate to that wheel in order to read the life story of that person. In short, we learn the basics of astrology so we can tell the personal story for each individual sky map.

In other articles I have suggested that there are four cornerstones to astrology: planets, signs, houses and aspects. Further, it is my conclusion that the planets are the keystone of the four cornerstones. Each of these four segments should be studied in the early stages of astrology so they may be combined as described to begin the process of a reading. In this article we will look at two of the segments, planets and houses, in a particular combining technique called the derivative house system. This technique is usable for those students of astrology that have completed the beginner stage. In brief…

Houses are the division of the 360-degree wheel into 12 compartments. Each compartment contains approximately 1/12th of the life experience or issues for any person, so each compartment is chock full of issues. Since the entire house system is constructed with Earth in the center of each wheel, houses are the down-to-earth experience for that wheel and person.

Planets represent the various functions of the human, such as the ego and self identity urges, the nesting, family, and emotional urges, the function of communication and learning, the urge to relate, to name a few. Traditionally there are ten bodies: our star, our satellite the Moon, and our eight sibling planets.


Derivative House System To study a single planet deeply, we must go beyond the generic meaning of that planet to see it working in the sign in which it is positioned, the house it occupies, the house it rules, and the aspects in which it is involved. All of that is valuable and is usually as far as any reading goes. The derivative technique can give you another layer of house meaning simply by looking at the 12-fold process of any of the ten planets. How? You simply start with the position of a single planet in the house it occupies and mentally recognize it as that planet’s first house expression. You then count consecutively counter-clockwise around the wheel from that first house. Each planet and what that planet represents in the individual will have contribution from all 12 houses and their issues. You do not lose the value of a regular reading of a wheel you are simply adding an additional layer of meaning. An example might make this explanation easier to understand.

Let us start with the Sun (ego urge) in Scorpio (sign) in the 5th house (occupation), ruling the 3rd (rulership), and then list the aspects and their meanings individually. That takes you through the usual method of reading the Sun. For another layer of meaning, put your finger on that Sun (ego and self-identity) and recognize that its first house expression, regardless of which house the Sun occupies, is the way the world sees the Sun issues, how that Sun and its issues respond immediately to activations from your environment, personal self-projection of that Sun, and the Sun’s coping skills. Where does the Sun (ego, self-identity) begin? All that actually takes place in the 5th house of this example so you must also view this solar application as creativity, children of the mind and body, speculation, and family values (2nd of the natal 4th). The Sun has more than a self-identity, it also has a value system, communication, relating, and all the other usual traditional house meanings, and that is determined by this method.